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Do any of you INFPs know ESFPs? What do you think of them? Do you generally have a good relationship with ESFPs or not? What annoys you about them, what do you like, etc. Also, how do you think a romantic relationship between an ESFP male and an INFP female would work? What would be the strength, the weaknesses?

Before you think I'm asking creepy questions: I'm an author. This is about a book I'm writing. I swear. :laughing:

Thank you!
 

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One of my few friends is ESFP, we've been friends since high school, so more than 10 years now, but my feelings are pretty mixed with her. ESFP-INFP have a Supervisor/Supervisee relationship which is a very difficult one with lots of ego clash. I can't speak to her easily without feeling like we are antagonizing each other, so basically most we talk about are things that happen in our lives that our egos don't get mixed in, so things irrelevant to each other. If we try to talk about topics like our dogs (about the only thing we talk about these days) there often is a lot of clash, I feel. She brings out a judgemental side of me that I don't like and I'm pretty sure I bring something negative out in her as well.

It's not easy to differentiate type from character at times, she is a very selfish person without any intellectual interests, her selfishness she is aware of after many years of therapy. Her lack of intellectual pursuits is very disappointing to me and many times I feel I just don't want her in my life, but we don't really have a time-draining relationship so I never feel that pressured to cut things off.
What I mentioned about our dogs, for example if I try to discuss more theoretical stuff with her, or things like their health, etc, often I feel like I'm talking to a wall or that she feels attacked and takes it as a personal criticism against her. Her lack of wanting to learn new things makes it very hard for me to convey information because of the ego clash (for both of us).

So overall I'd say it's a very weird and not that great of a relationship. We don't fight but there's some kind of struggle. I don't know if that's how it is with every ESFP, I think her egotism and lack of intellectual pursuits are personal to her more than type related, but I think her type makes it even harder for her to be open to new things, especially from an N perspective. She believes there's nothing new to learn about ourselves after ~27, nor that we can form new beliefs and other weird things like that. Basically she feels like an unmovable rock to me, like a concrete wall. The irony to this is that she got a tattoo that says "you can only see as far as you think".

My relationship with her has given me perspective on what the stereotypical Fi user is perceived as, unmovable in their convictions. As a Fi dom myself you'd think that I'd know that but in truth I think this is more characteristic of xSFP types, Ni+Fi rather Ne+Fe. Ni+Fi hones in on one thing and never lets go.

I've also known at least two other ESFP classmates (they are so common you probably know a couple at least). ESFPs are pretty fun to socialize with on a surface level, but going deeper it's probably not great.
 

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One of my few friends is ESFP, we've been friends since high school, so more than 10 years now, but my feelings are pretty mixed with her. ESFP-INFP have a Supervisor/Supervisee relationship which is a very difficult one with lots of ego clash. I can't speak to her easily without feeling like we are antagonizing each other, so basically most we talk about are things that happen in our lives that our egos don't get mixed in, so things irrelevant to each other. If we try to talk about topics like our dogs (about the only thing we talk about these days) there often is a lot of clash, I feel.
It's not easy to differentiate type from character at times, she is a very selfish person without any intellectual interests, her selfishness she is aware of after many years of therapy. Her lack of intellectual pursuits is very disappointing to me and many times I feel I just don't want her in my life, but we don't really have a time-draining relationship so I never feel that pressured to cut things off.
What I mentioned about our dogs, for example if I try to discuss more theoretical stuff with her, or things like their health, etc, often I feel like I'm talking to a wall or that she feels attacked and takes it as a personal criticism against her. Her lack of wanting to learn new things makes it very hard for me to convey information because of the ego clash (for both of us).
So overall I'd say it's a very weird and not that great of a relationship. We don't fight but there's some kind of struggle. I don't know if that's how it is with every ESFP, I think her egotism and lack of intellectual pursuits are personal to her more than type related, but I think her type makes it even harder for her to be open to new things, especially from an N perspective. She believes there's nothing new to learn about ourselves after ~27, nor that we can form new beliefs and other weird things like that. Basically she feels like an unmovable rock to me, like a concrete wall. The irony to this is that she got a tattoo that says "you can only see as far as you think".

My relationship with her has given me perspective on what the stereotypical Fi user is perceived as, unmovable in their convictions. As a Fi dom myself you'd think that I'd know that but in truth I think this is more characteristic of xSFP types, Ni+Fi rather Ne+Fe. Ni+Fi hones in on one thing and never lets go.

I've also known at least two other ESFP classmates (they are so common you probably know a couple at least). ESFPs are pretty fun to socialize with on a surface level, but going deeper it's probably not great.
Someone that actually knows socionics.
 

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wow @Red Panda You put into words so much of my experience with my ESFPs.

Okey first answer to the simple question Do I get along with them easily? No. I wouldn't even have a relationship with them if we weren't family members. ISFPs are waaaay easier for me to get along for some reason, and it's not the introversion, it's something else, it must be the position of their Ni with the Fi specifically. I haven't studied them too much tho, so I can't say. But it's like Red Panda said: ego clash. I don't experience this with ISFPs or ENFPs or.. I don't know.. it's something very specific about ESFPs. Both my grandmother and my mother are ESFPs (they've hated each other their whole lives, precisely because of the ego clash), also one of my female cousins on my dad's side, and two aunts.

Secondly, I want to say that everything I'll write here is obvsly based on personal experiences, not universalities, and also that enneagram plays a part.

The ESFPs in my life have this huge ego, they clash with everyone, not just with me. They are antagonistic people for some reason, but only when they form deep relationships which isn't often. They actually keep their inner self to themselves and their family and their best friend, and they hide it from coworkers, acquaintances and some friends. This is why their coworkers and friends always tell them "Omg you are so zen! I feel so good in your presence, you're an angel" and my ESFPs whisper to my ear "If only they knew me ahahaha I have such a hot temper" and I'm like "Yeah if only they knew you lol".
My ESFPs are always surrounded by a million people, but they don't actually have true friends. Nobody truly knows them, only their spouse, children & best friend. I told them that this was my observation of them, and they agreed that they are private although they don't look like it.

lots of ego clash. I can't speak to her easily without feeling like we are antagonizing each other, so basically most we talk about are things that happen in our lives that our egos don't get mixed in, so things irrelevant to each other.
Exactly.
The only reason these ESFPs are in my life is because we are family members, otherwise they aren't people I would be friends with. They are Black & White thinkers. This is not something I alone believe, they are accused of B&W thinking by their spouses, children and other family members at family reunions/lunch/dinner. Their Fi is very strong in a hot-temper way, it's like they can't channel it well or control it, and it comes out like a bazooka, destroying everything figuratively speaking. This strong Fi wouldn't be a problem, as my Fi is obvsly dominant, but it's the ingredient of the How they express it -the hot temper- and how much they need you to validate them, that becomes a problem.
I get along with other Fi users perfectly fine, like ISFPs, INFPs and ENFPs. It's a mystery for me where this extreme Universalization of their B&W comes from. What I mean by Universalization is that they process life like this:
- They have a personal experience,
- They make their personal experience universal and proclaim "This is how the world works". This is final. Everybody now come agree with me, otherwise there's war.

An example is if the ESFP has 2 failed relationships, they proclaim that relationships don't work, universally. You can tell them "I've had wonderful relationships. It's not black & white. Some work and some don't..." and they will get super aggressive and get really worked up and in your face because they are seeking that you agree with them. They need you to validate their point, and if you stand your ground and say "Agree to disagree because this conversation isn't going anywhere" they throw a fit. Literally 70-year-olds and 40-year-olds throwing a 4-year-old fit is something an INFP cannot process with peace or patience. We will think that this person lacks a brain, and lacks a self-control that is something INFPs value very much. I don't deal with impulsive out-of-control people, because I can't respect them.
I've seen one of my ESFP practically chop off her teenage niece's head because they disagreed politically. The niece was just expressing her opinions, but the ESFPs just get ugly. They won't stop until they get their points validated externally, they can't live with just their opinions inside their heads in solitude.

I've had my head nearly chopped off so many times that my relationship with them is purely Se-Ne. Like Panda said, I avoid everything important: any talk of relationships, work, politics, spirituality, philosophy... And trust me, they have an opinion about everything, which I appreciate because I do too. I appreciate people with ideas and passion. But I appreciate from a distance in this case. My relationships with them are based on traveling together, going to the beach, exchanging beauty tips, shopping together, exercise together, trying out different restaurants and having sensory experiences, and when we must talk, we talk about other people, so it's mostly gossip.
If we get personal, it's like talking to a wall, because they have their opinions formed already, and they are listening to my stories purely through their filter. So many times they are listening to me in silence, and when I'm done it's like I never shared anything, because they go back to their already formulated story in their heads about how the world works. If my story doesn't fit into their formula, they discard it as "non-existent", or that I "dreamed it", that I "never experienced such a thing because it simply doesn't exist". An example:
- ESFP had a couple of experiences with men who wore red hats and those men happened to be buddhists.
- I meet a man with a red hat who tells me he's christian.
- I tell ESFP I met this man, she appears to be listening to my story... when I'm finished, she replies:
"So when are you breaking up with the buddhist?"
and I'm like "What buddhist?"
"The red hatted man you met"
"He's not buddhist, he's christian"
"Nono, he's buddhist. I know this because I've already dated men with red hats, and they were buddhists, therefore ALL men with red hats in the entire world are buddhist. If you don't want to accept this fact, it's your problem and you are crazy. But it's a fact"

They make these correlations that they set in stone, and they lack any real substance to me. And these ideas are immovable. Once they believe it, they do forever.
I also learned what Thinkers typically refer to when they say "Feelers are irrational" when I applied it to my ESFPs. I have never seen an ounce of rationality in them, sigh.

Now, they are my go-to people for the adventures I crave that I usually have to do alone because nobody wants to come with me (ppl are attached to their routines and their planning and safety). ESFPs are the only ones who will say yes to every crazy idea I propose, and I love that. We can do crazy stuff like hop on a plane and go to Ibiza or we can just go to a museum and comment on the art. They are very interested in art and history, and I love that. This is very curious because my ESFPs are not intellectual at all, they haven't read a book in their lives, they can't even spell because they hate reading and stuff... but they are curious about documentaries and visual things, so that's good. We talk about cinema and movies and art a lot.

We can't talk about anything theoretical or abstract, and whenever I've slipped and gone on a theoretical attempt at discussion, things get ugly. The ESFP will interpret everything I say literally. They don't understand double meanings, reading between the lines, or jokes, or sarcasm, or anything. Our senses of humor are opposites, so we can never laugh together. There is no mental click. I must always stay in the literal plane when talking with them and be careful not to slip up.

Also like Panda mentioned, they take things personally very easily. Which is why they're highly antagonistic with everyone they encounter. Like I said, it's not just me, I witness this as they engage in conversations with twenty other family members, plus their spouse and children. I can understand this sort of Fi thing if we're talking about teenagers or 20-somethings, but I think that by the time you're in your 40s, 60s and 70s... you should be past this, you should've evolved.

harder for her to be open to new things, especially from an N perspective. She believes there's nothing new to learn about ourselves after ~27, nor that we can form new beliefs and other weird things like that. Basically she feels like an unmovable rock
This exactly.
It's not something that I alone experience, the rest of family members think the same.

Also, how do you think a romantic relationship between an ESFP male and an INFP female would work?
I don't think it would work, based on my experience.
Apart from everything I explained above, there are so many other problems. I'm trying hard not to write a frikkin' dissertation so I'm omitting a lot of things xD
As an INFP with Selp-Preservation in my stacking, I absolutely need stability, reliability and punctuality in a spouse. I need someone who is self-controlled, not impulsive and who thinks before speaking/acting.
ESFPs are the opposite of all that. They are predictable in the sense that I already know to expect perpetual impunctuality and instability. They would make a terrible spouse to me because I would feel constantly on edge trying to prepare myself psychologically for their next whim, and all the craziness they come up with on a daily basis. They would spend their money on businesses that even I know beforehand will not work. But they operate from a sense of adventure and irrationality, which is why their businesses always fail and they can never finish a single course/class they enroll in. And the more their loved ones tell them "Don't go there, don't do that, don't invest there, don't go home with that man... ALL the red flags are fucking evident... everyone can see them, why can't you?" the ESFP is like yolooooo. Then fails/gets hurt, as everyone expected. Then they blame external forces/the government/bad fortune, not their whimsical character and decision-making.

I believe that they have their heart in the right place. But our personalities don't gel.
 

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I figure this is all good ... a novel wouldn't be a novel without some character tension. :)

Honestly, I've never had an experience like that with an ESFP ... but maybe the ESFP I know is just super mature or something, and I'm an ISTP, so what I tolerate in people in really different.

So the general consensus is that you can't have a deep relationship with an ESFP as an INFP? Or do you think it was more the ESFPs you spent time with?
 

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I know 3 ESFPs. One female, we can't seem to find common ground to sustain a conversation. Another female, we share lots of common interests and friends, so she invites me to things, and I like to talk to her, and someday we're going to go dancing and have a great time!! (I think she might be higher on the Fi and Te than the Ni)

And the third ESFP I know is a male, and we've been friends for about 10 years through school and stuff. I'd say we know each other fairly well(but I know more about him than he knows about me). We have mutually decided, I believe, that we are better off as "brother and sister" and should not be in a romantic relationship. But I know that we can't be in a romantic relationship. Even though we've known each other for so long and can tell each other just about anything, I think I would be very unhappy with him.

The main reason we wouldn't do well together is because I never fit in at the small town we grew up in. I was well-received, well-known, loved, admired, respected, but I still didn't fit in there. Especially since I hardly have any family in the town. (Normally small towns are a group of clans) Naturally, I couldn't wait to go try something new, to "escape" at college. Going "home" sucks. It's a depressing place with no growth, in my wild perspective. To him though, it's his home home. Most of his family lives in the town. The men in his family do lots of work around town, tinkering on machines, collaborating with local companies and the city. The women are wives and teachers. Their clan is well integrated. He tried going to college, but he ended up returning. Part of that was because of a lousy local girlfriend(you don't have much choice in a small town!). Part of it was because he wanted to be with what he already knows. (Even though he wanders from job to job because he wants to figure out what he really wants to do.)

Difference in geographical vision is a big relationship deal-breaker. I'd feel trapped and hopeless if I had to stay in that town(even though it isn't bad), and he would feel out of place and like even more of a wanderer out of his comfort zone(even though he will never find a suitable mate for himself in that town. He needs an "imported" girl, and there are tons who would be interested in a guy like him.)

Now onto MBTI and incompatibility. I get to see all his functions since we are very good friends. With him, personally, he gets into Te-Ni mode a lot. And it's not like a mature Te-Ni that can be reasoned with. It's seriously like his whole stack gets inverted sometimes... He probably operated like this near constantly when he was in that 3-year bad relationship. He was always trying to figure out what that girl "really" meant, and then tried to set out a plan to fix the problem, the way good Southern small-town men are supposed to. When it didn't work, he would try harder. Now that she's out, he's trying to figure out who he is again.

Now to the tangled web.

Southern "gentleman" values: Fi-aux. Hidden unless in the right company. Me being Fi-dom, that's okay. He trusts me to have the Fi in our talks. Fi is more of a feminine stereotype anyway, so of course he will let the woman have more to do with this.

Southern gentleman action: Te-tertiary. This is what he speaks in, more often than not(semi-natural, since it's an extraverted function). And this is what's expected of Southern gentlemen, and this is how other Southern gentlemen understand others. It can be spoken with quite the judging flavor, which I don't enjoy. I'm sure a lot of people would think he was a T, but those people would be wrong.

And the crux of my extraversion: his Ni-inferior. This Ni little devil makes him love to generalize and read (incorrectly) into everything. In Southern gentleman form, this is his secondary desire to become a Christian minister. It's the Southern gentleman desire to lead the family on the right path. I think religion appeals to him because the Bible is chock-full of the deeper meanings and the generalizations and insight about humanity, life, and God. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm mainly setting up you readers for the inverted function slam.

The Inverted Function Slam
In his introverted time, he'll be going through his Fi for values and congruency, and he'll get that little beckoning from inferior Ni. Then, aha! "Of course that's it! This magical insight lines up with my Fi values!" And then he must systemize it with Te and implement it. So he uses Ni to lead the way rather than using his Se-Fi in a more predictable way.

How the Inverted Function Slam affects me is when he gets triggered in our conversations. Then he will educate me on this insight until I believe, and I must bite my tongue so the onslaught will stop, stop, stop. And what triggers his Ni? Why, it's my healthy and wealthy Ne! My auxiliary function! My dominant Fi already primes his Fi, but when I start abstracting like I do, he also tries to abstract—and he doesn't let me take the lead on it. To him, this is just an example of women being tangent-followers and men having one-track minds. Nothing more. (And I'm not making that up.) So he will one-track my tangents with a stupid blanket statement like that, and I am immobilized.

I'm immobilized because I don't want to prove him right by arguing with his idea. That will only solidify his stupid stance!! So to preserve myself, I pretend to listen and learn from him. Stupidest thing ever. I hate it, and it makes me doubt myself when I'm not allowed to dream. And Ne is extraverted; I use it best when I can talk and speak my mind. But I can't do that!!

And this crap happens when we're legit disagreeing or when we're just having a conversation. Sure, we have tolerance towards each other. We call each other every few weeks. But if I had to be in a relationship with him or live with him, I couldn't hold back my mind for very long.

Me holding myself back and me letting myself go—it doesn't matter because neither will teach him. He must learn how to be Se dominant. He needs to learn how to be whole and well.

And I need to be with someone who is balanced and preferably likes to use Ne.

I get frustrated because he's around my parents a lot more than I am nowadays, and I don't want my parents to think we would make a good couple. I care about values, but for him, I care about being free to speak my mind without being suffocated by a stupid blanket statement. Mom and dad are INFJ and INTJ, and I hope at least one of them won't romanticize the relationship!!
 

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oh god your ESFPs sound like such a handful. I think this shows how beneficial therapy can be, my friend did many years of the psychoanalytic type and she's learned that you can't force yourself on people and people will do their own thing just like she does. So she's not that forceful.

"- They have a personal experience,
- They make their personal experience universal and proclaim "This is how the world works". This is final. Everybody now come agree with me, otherwise there's war."

yes this is sooo true and it becomes annoying when they change their minds, which usually happens when they have a new experience (that's the only way), they never (or at least my friend) reflect on it and understand not to be so rigid with the new opinion they have.

bit of a rant on my ESFP cousin (I really need it xD) :

I feel the same dynamic of being unable to talk with him and his life is highly indicative of a whimsical, impulsive behavior and irresponsibility (i don't think the latter is necessarily an ESFP trait). I love him like a cousin that raised me (he is in his mid 40s, 17 years older than me) but I seriously dislike him and for good reasons. He has a steady job in the army for more than 20 years and he is still horrible with money at times. Many years back he decided to become a member in a multi-level marketing company to make an extra buck and he became the most annoying person ever. He would try to sell us cosmetics all the time, basically the only reason he visited (he lives next door) was for that, he would talk like he had a cassette tape on speaking, showing his indoctrination and he was so horrible at it he was completely transparent. My father was a very successful accountant working for huge companies (shipowners etc) and he would try to explain to him how it's a scam (with diagrams etc) and he wouldn't listen, he didn't want to. Fast forward he got a car from the company with co-paid but for some weird reason he thought he doesn't need to pay his share anymore after a while and one day of course they called him from the bank and told him his car will get confiscated the next day unless he pays. He didn't have the money and called my mom for help crying and of course she could not say no, so we ended up giving him almost 3k to pay for his car, as a loan. My father had been dead for a while so that played a big part in how we never saw any money back. He completely exploited my mom's sensitivities and my father's absence to escape his debt. My mom would sit him down and ask for our money, the last time it happened which is almost two years ago, he told her "I'm going to bring you some now" he left and we didn't see him for months, he avoided us. He lives next door on the same floor!! As far as I know he's quit that company, probably after losing a million bucks and friends.
Another thing he does that is soooo selfish is he brings treats to our dogs and feeds them to him EVEN when we tell him he's nauseous or vomiting (he has digestive issues), he can't control himself at all and just wants to do what he wants to do, which is to gain favor with the dog without concern for his health. Fortunately he's stopped doing that, but I suspect it's because he just doesn't want to buy treats as often.


I didn't know having sp is what makes me hate such behaviors but it makes sense. Also being raised by an ExTJ dad and an ISTJ mom might have had something to do with it xD.


@ButIHaveNoFear

this Inverted Function Slam thing describes very well how it feels to interact with ESFPs
 

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I figure this is all good ... a novel wouldn't be a novel without some character tension. :)

Honestly, I've never had an experience like that with an ESFP ... but maybe the ESFP I know is just super mature or something, and I'm an ISTP, so what I tolerate in people in really different.

So the general consensus is that you can't have a deep relationship with an ESFP as an INFP? Or do you think it was more the ESFPs you spent time with?
ISTP-ESFP has a Supervisor/Supervisee relationship with the ESFP being the Supervisee. In the INFP-ESFP relationship, the INFP is the Supervisee. So I'm guessing the way the ESFP feels about ISTP is more similar to how we feel about the ESFP. However I can't be sure of that. My sister is ENTP which makes her my Supervisee but I don't think our egos clash the same way it happens with the ESFP and I suspect that's because of our different function stack. However our relationship is still pretty difficult and it was mind blowing to me when I discovered that she is in the weakened position, as she is older than me by 8 years and I was raised under her thumb, conditioned to see her as all-knowing (she is rather narcissistic but that's another rant entirely xD)
You can read more here about the Supervision relation Socionics - the16types.info - Supervision-relations

Basically how I feel with ESFPs is that I am weak to assert myself and when there's a conflict of opinions I just can't make the other person listen. In reality I may be "superior" from an outsider perspective because I know more and have more wholesome and well thought opinions, but when it comes to conveying them I hit a wall. I think the previous posts by both me and other users about the specific functions involved help in understanding this.


Why do you want to write about an ESFP-INFP relationship specifically?
 

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Woooow @ButIHaveNoFear , you described my experiences incredibly excellentl!!

he gets into Te-Ni mode a lot. And it's not like a mature Te-Ni that can be reasoned with. It's seriously like his whole stack gets inverted sometimes.
his Ni-inferior. This Ni little devil makes him love to generalize and read (incorrectly) into everything.
The Inverted Function Slam
In his introverted time, he'll be going through his Fi for values and congruency, and he'll get that little beckoning from inferior Ni. Then, aha! "Of course that's it! This magical insight lines up with my Fi values!" And then he must systemize it with Te and implement it. So he uses Ni to lead the way rather than using his Se-Fi in a more predictable way.
How the Inverted Function Slam affects me is when he gets triggered in our conversations. Then he will educate me on this insight until I believe
Oh wow your post was beautifully written, so organized and clear. And it explained a lot to me, since I haven’t “studied” ESFPs in depth.
Their Te-Ni thing is what creates most conflict for me and my ESFPs, yes. And following the topic of Ni and religion, here’s how it shows up in my two primary ESFPS (grandma and mother).
- Grandmother spent 45 years of her life hopping from religion to religion. Eventually she settled for Yeovah’s witness at 45. My mom was 5.
- My mom felt oppressed and went to the flip side of all this due to her Ni. In her teens she decided she was Atheist because her own personal experience of feeling oppressed made her conclude that the Truth of the entire world is that spirituality in any shape or form makes people oppressed. She's on a weird crusade to single-handedly dismantle spirituality groups, and just attack people for "not believing the right thing", which is what religious extremists do lol.
She (and my atheist father) raised their children atheist. But while my father was a live and let live atheist, my mother was/is aggressive toward people who are spiritual in any shape or form, because she claims that the Truth of the Universe is nihilism and everyone must be a nihilist, and if you even mention that you meditate or burn incense, she freaks out, gets out of control, and attacks you, and states what she considers “facts” but are only her personal opinions. When I was 3 years old I told her I believed in a higher being, that I “felt it in my heart” and she punished me. She ran the household with a strange Te-Ni method, and actively attacked anyone who didn’t believe what she believed. She went to the extreme of signing up once to a meditation class just so she could start an argument with the teacher in front of 20 people who had gone there just to meditate, not to talk about deities or anything. But she correlates in her mind meditation = spirituality, and she has this need to see her own opinions and beliefs play out in the external world and have people believe and acts as she believes. She can’t live and let live. She she’s spent her entire life doing in the name of atheism what my grandmother was doing in the name of God –preaching, judging, attacking and trying to “convert” the dissidents.
- Fun fact: in her 50s, my mother ended up marrying a black muslim, of all people! xD She constantly attacks his belief system and won’t let him just be who he is. I don’t understand why he puts up with her, but he claims she’s the love of his life.

oh god your ESFPs sound like such a handful. I think this shows how beneficial therapy can be
Oh my mother has spent half her life in therapy xD She was even medicated for a time when I was a kid, due to her emotional outbursts. She tells me that she found great help in therapy because she had no true friends, so she couldn’t vent to anyone. And whenever she had problems with my father, she couldn’t vent to him, because he was the problem xD So she decided to go to therapy because she needed someone who would listen to her and not judge her. She also told me that she never wanted feedback from whatever therapist was seeing her at the time, and that their advice, nuggets of wisdom, or exercise suggestions went in one ear and out the other because “Damn I’m not paying you to tell me what to do! I’m paying you to listen to me and shut up!”. She would stop therapy whenever she felt she had vented enough, and she would re-sign up whenever she again needed a listening ear.
She’s also very much into self-help books, but they’ve never done anything to her really. Sometimes when we travel together she brings one of her self-help books and she starts reading a page out loud, and she argues with the book! xD The book will say “Make a gratitude list for all the blessings in your life… you have many blessings” and my mom instead of going “MMmhh this is an interesting concept.. let me explore it.. let me consider it…” (which is what my Ne does), she instantly argues with the pages “You are so full of shit, author, the world doesn’t work like this, listen to me…” She goes into therapy and books with a predisposition to anchor what she already believed about the world, and what she seeks from them is validation, an echo, not food for thought.

I figure this is all good ... a novel wouldn't be a novel without some character tension. :)
Yes! Actually when I was writing my other post yesterday, I was having a lot of fun in my head imagining a plot like this, imagining me interacting with a male version of Clementine (eternal sunshine of the spotless mind)

So the general consensus is that you can't have a deep relationship with an ESFP as an INFP? Or do you think it was more the ESFPs you spent time with?
I can’t answer that really, because I don’t know much theory beyond the basics about ESFPs. If I had to judge from the ones irl and from Clementine (lol), I could never do it. Not even friendship. I adore Clementine as a character, but that’s why I can appreciate her, because there’s a distance of non-reality. If she was sitting next to me right here… will all her drama… I wouldn’t be able to take it. I’m emotionally and behaviorally self-controlled, and I value those exact traits in other people. I can’t put up with whimsy, or emotional outbursts, or emotionally hyperactive people. This doesn’t make them bad people, obvsly, I think their hearts are gold, but a heart means nothing to me without proper behavior/actions that are aligned with my Fi. I can’t have a relationship with someone who will never listen to my opinions, will never consider my POVs, and will never actually know me. Because that’s the thing: if you are so set in your world view that when someone tells you a personal experience, you immediately space out and discard it as “doesn’t exist, because that’s never happened to me, and what doesn’t happen to me cannot exist in others”, this is a recipe where the person will never know another human being. It will be an unreal mate, made up in your Ni imagination. And given that authenticity to me means knowing the truth of people, knowing who they are for everything that they are, the good and the ugly… I value a reciprocity in a partner. I need to think/feel that my relationship is real, and that my partner is not imagining me based on their own self-image.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ISTP-ESFP has a Supervisor/Supervisee relationship with the ESFP being the Supervisee. In the INFP-ESFP relationship, the INFP is the Supervisee. So I'm guessing the way the ESFP feels about ISTP is more similar to how we feel about the ESFP. However I can't be sure of that.

Basically how I feel with ESFPs is that I am weak to assert myself and when there's a conflict of opinions I just can't make the other person listen. In reality I may be "superior" from an outsider perspective because I know more and have more wholesome and well thought opinions, but when it comes to conveying them I hit a wall. I think the previous posts by both me and other users about the specific functions involved help in understanding this.


Why do you want to write about an ESFP-INFP relationship specifically?
Hmm ... that's interesting. I honestly feel like my relationship with that particular ESFP is not really a supervisor/supervisee relationship. I don't ever feel a need to control her or get her to do something. She's my best friend, and we're closer than sisters, and I generally trust her to control herself. But that's probably just our relationship, not others.

Well, I have an INFP character and an ESFP character who didn't interact a lot in the first book they were in together, and now I'm writing the sequel, and they're going to be spending a lot more time together.
 

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My vehicle is INFP, 9w8. Vroom vroom!!
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@Red Panda @entheos It's really cool (and sad) that we have the same kinds of experiences with our ESFPs. None of our people sound very healthy, and I wonder what interaction with a healthy ESFP would be like. (Or maybe none of them seem naturally healthy to us!!)

I know that the ESFP girl I can't seem to hold a conversation with seems healthy enough. She's one of my roommates. Perhaps the ego clash thing is why we can't seem to talk! She's a little bit older than me, and a lot of people say good things about her, so I went into our first meeting as a curious explorer, ready to determine this new insight. That was kind of the most we ever talked!! Our conversation didn't inspire me, I guess. I didn't learn anything new from myself or from her. She's much more of a Christian than I am, it feels like. She likes putting Bible verses and inspiration on her FaceBook wall. That's all well and good, and I know it helps some people, but I can't even "like" her posts!! She can speak to the general level of society, but not to me. She can have good conversations with INFJs, for whatever reason, but not with me.

My other healthy(?) ESFP who I call my friend can have a good time with me. It's usually in the context of other friends(because we all have intense common interests, abilities, philosophies). It works best that way for us because she can act more introverted than me when we're by ourselves! She has a roommate who is INFP(awesome girl by the way! We were joking around yesterday, and our INTJ friend wanted to hit us!!). She gets along really well with this INFP. I think I have a bit more confidence(?) than the other INFP, like she's still trying to find herself. But I still see them as equals to each other. I think the ESFP probably understands the INFP concept well, and she hangs out with lots of iNtuitives in general.

Someone might preemptively think that for an S to be good at working with Ns that the S would need to work on their own iNtuition—I disagree(and we know this by experience). The way this ESFP gets along with so many N-types shows me that her S running is at full capacity. She's essential to our group of friends because of that different worldview. She knows that her own perspective is something we don't have, and it's something we need. She often reminds our ENFP friend to stay on track with his boring deadlines. Yeah, we can shrug it off, but she knows that she's "right" in this area. And she knows that we're "right" in our area of expertise.

An ESFP who thinks they are "right" in their inferior Ni is quite a grievance to us. I don't know how to make them snap out of this thinking, but I agree with you that they have to experience something for themselves. It's probably why I want my male ESFP friend to move the heck away from that small town. He needs to realize that he's good at his strengths and other people are good at their strengths. Perhaps I can use this new understanding to guide our conversation to what he is good at and flatter him a little.
 

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None of our people sound very healthy, and I wonder what interaction with a healthy ESFP would be like. (Or maybe none of them seem naturally healthy to us!!)

I'm inclined to think it's more the bolded part.
 

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I've only had one girlfriend and it was an ESFP and it was a shitty relationship.

I blame it on her, not her type.
 

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I think it's just how they seem to us. For example, I don't think my ESFP friend is unhealthy anymore, she did lots of therapy because she was insecure and wanting to have others validate her self esteem, which made her quite promiscuous but she is actually asexual or at least incredibly low libido. She used to be unhealthy because she didn't accept herself and now she does and she admits she is very selfish/self-centered and doesn't want to pander to others. In the past the only thing that gave her a thrill was guys chasing her and validating her, so she played on that to gain self-esteem. So now that she's accepted all that she is very calm and self-aware. So from a psychological perspective she is fine, as anyone can be, I can't call her unhealthy in general. We are just very incompatible in the way we view the world, sure we can relate on very specific things but our processes and how we experience life and society are just incredibly different. And for my case in particular, her lack of interests and in most things I'm interested in breaks it even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think it might have more to do with the personalities clashing than with ESFPs themselves (although I feel like many of the ESFPs you're talking about might have some mental issues). Every ESFP I've known (a couple not too well and one extremely well) has been completely unlike what you've been describing ... but I feel like it has more to do with my perspective. I have a(nother) friend who just can't tolerate my ESFP friend, and while I see nothing wrong with things she does and just don't care, my other friend (don't know her type - probably IxTJ though? I'm not sure) can't stand it.
 

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I found an interesting article on this duo that lists conflicts nicely: https:// thoughtcatalog.com/airen-petalbert/2016/12/10-reasons-why-an-esfp-infp-relationship-is-bound-to-last/ (I don't have enough posts to just copy and paste so delete that space)

As an ESFP I can testify to both strength and difficulty in the pairing. My sister is an INFP and most of the conflicts listed in the article apply to us as well. However, we get along really well. Our personality types would not make us natural friends but I truly believe these types can compliment each other.

My sister and I could talk about deep subjects for hours and hours. She'll send me cool poems or books whenever she finds them. The appreciation for meaning both of us has gives us a platform for strong connection. In response to comments earlier, I do not think most ESFP's are actually superficial. We have a lot of appreciation for the "good" things in life and when that's love we'll figure our shit out for you. The pair has a lot of differences but I think the shared FP give the couple a lot of potential.
 

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I'm not sure whether I'm actually an INFP, buuut during my time where I *thought* I was one:

Firstly, I noticed that my ESFP ex often (and still does) voice exactly what I'm thinking. These were often harsh thoughts that I didn't want to voice aloud, but tumbled out of his mouth without a second thought. Despite this, he was a primarily kind-hearted person, but his mischievous/impulsive streak meant he occasionally forgot to think about the feelings of others. He was sociable, adventurous, and knew how to network: but, he got a little carried away with things, so occasionally I would be wary of his judgement.

He always had good intentions, it was just that his execution could be a little... off. The type of boyfriend who tried to plan romantic events, but something unexpected always popped up and ruined everything. Always been such a generous person to friends, and he's extremely loyal to them... which is probably why he takes it quite personally when they turn their back on him. He was very insecure about being viewed as "stupid." In fact, I think that was (and still is) one of the worst insults you could ever chuck his way.

I think the most common question in our 5 years together had to be: "where are my pants?" He liked being in the spotlight among friends - the entertainer, the performer, the star of the show - but appreciated that he could relax around me and there was no pressure. If it's not obvious, we still have quite a positive relationship after our break-up, as we ended on mutual terms. However, he gets attached more easily than he lets on, and I've had multiple people raise concerns about him always going to feel something.

Oh, a puppy. He is basically a puppy. He gets sad when he gets told off, and likes to show off his accomplishments in return for praise. He loves attention and praise.

I'm definitely the person he feels most comfortable sharing his fears, aspirations, and insecurities with. There is something easy about our friendship, where we know that nothing could ever change our opinion on the other. The dislikes that come to mind is that he can unknowingly be quite selfish, he has his moments of irrationality/intense emotions, and there's an underlying darkness to him that most people don't see. He does try to be the best person he can be, though, and deserves admiration for that.
 
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